Tag Archives: mom

Day 22: And then I became a year older…

April 22

IMG_8635My birthday has now come and gone. And I didn’t spend nearly enough time writing about it because I was too busy sitting in my own pit of self-misery about (gulp) adding another year to my number plate. Yea, I know, 33 ain’t all that bad. It’s not IMG_8720thaaaat old. But something about my yearly celebration of being pushed out of my mom’s vagina in our cozy Vancouver, BC town-home in 1982 triggers some serious self-reflection, and with serious self-reflection comes well, serious moods.

My son (age 9) offered to make me a special bday breakfast to wake up to on Saturday. As is the case with most 9 year olds, he forgot. My “special” day started out with the squabbling of my 9 year old and 7 year old, and my not-so-gentle reminder that “All I want for my birthday is for you two to STOP FIGHTING!“, followed by their responses, “Oh yea, happy birthday Mom!” and hugs, for which I was already too grumpy to enjoy or appreciate fully.

I know part of my problem is that I’m “too nice”. Maybe I need to start ordering people around and telling them to make me coffee, clean the kitchen, hand me a book to read (that’s NOT a kids books!) and then LEAVE ME ALONE to sulk. Except that what I really wanted was attention. I wanted them to make a big deal about me, but I didn’t want to ask them to because I didn’t want them to make a big deal just because I asked them to. I wanted them to want to. Ugh, and this my friends is where the perpetual disappoint festers.

You don’t tell people what you want -> They don’t know what you want -> You don’t get what you want -> They don’t know why you are disappointed -> You blame yourself for your unrealistic expectations -> They move along with their lives and will likely not ever be able to “read your mind” and know what you want…

Sound familiar?

Example:

IMG_8700I ask for a mint-chocolate chip ice cream cake with chocolate cake. What do I get? (Oh Gawd, I know I sound like a brat typing this!) A HUGE sheet cake of “dulce de leche” cake…hmmm….sounds good (even if it’s NOT what I asked for NOR did it have ANY IMG_8688ice cream)…right? Oh sure, if you are NOT me, you might actually LIKE white cake SOAKED in MILK?!?! With a custard filling?!?! And strawberries on top (sounds good) with that weird jelly stuff coated on them (not so good)?!?! Let’s be real here: I have a weird aversion to certain textures. This has included jelly and ketchup since childhood. Now it will also include soggy milk-soaked cakes, custard filling, and strawberry goo (sigh). I’m a jerk. But I smiled and ate the cake like a good girl (as many bites as I could stomach) because I know the notion came from a good place, and they were all very proud of their AMAZING cake they chose for me. So yes, like I said (typed) I’m a jerk for not liking the cake and being disappointed that I didn’t get what I wanted on my ONE special day of the WHOLE YEAR…but I also didn’t tell them “No, this is not what I asked for, and the thought of eating it grosses me out beyond your capability to comprehend.”

IMG_8702And my funkiness prevented me from blogging and promoting the crap out of my crowdfunding for writing efforts (only 9 days left!!! AND the only thing I really really DO WANT for my bday) and even though I made it to the LA Times Festival of Books, I really only got there for the final hour of the thing when everyone was packing up and yes, the books were all getting marked down to 50% off (I love a good deal!) but no books were calling to me (it was all the leftovers anyways) and literally the only picture I took while I was there was of a breastfeeding booth (yes, this is my life with kids and being a breastfeeding advocate even after I no longer am breastfeeding any kids of my own!). But…I am grateful I got to be there at all! Even if only for an hour…even if it took longer to drive there than the actual amount of time I got to spend there.

Pink’s hot dogs served me a burger (because, well, hot dogs are gross and so I ordered a burger even though I felt that was kind of lame to go to a famous hot dog stand and order a turkey burger). The crazy line at Pink’s made us 30 minutes late for the book reading we were heading to so I had to walk in to the tiny bookstore with the nearly-impossible-to-open doors, and feel the awkward rudeness of showing up mid-reading. I IMG_8707couldn’t think of any brilliant questions to ask the author when it came time for discussion (I usually love asking questions). And though I was first to hug the author (is that OKAY? Maybe I need to work on my book-signing etiquette, but hey, I’m a hugger!) and get my book signed (which I bought earlier in the week and then regretted it because if I had bought it at the bookstore I could have gotten a free finger puppet! Damnit, I love free stuff) and I was impressed that the ever-fabulous author (and a former writing professor of mine from UCR) remembered how to spell my weird frenchie name (A-I-M-E-E, no accent on the first E because I’m not french and have never put the accent there) but then accidentally gave me two A’s in her excitement as she signed and I blabbed on about who only knows what in my nervous jitters. I kind of love that it’s goofy because it reminds me that yes,I am not the only one who struggles to perform under the pressure of watching eyes. I just KNOW that someday (when I’m a big famous author) that I will flub names and then draw a giant pen heart to cover up the flub and then it looks like a giant black heart and keeps growing and keeps getting uglier and everyone will be standing there waiting, kids crying, pulling on their mommy’s skirts to go home already, and I’ll be drawing stupid black hearts to cover up my flubs.

So, happy sappy sorry birthday to ME! Another year older, and that much closer to something…death? Publishing? Cancer? Another broken wrist? Toe?

*Oh yea, forgot to mention I didn’t even get to blow out my own bday candles…there were only 2 and both my daughters took care of those before they were even done singing happy birthday to me. Whatever. Why do I even care??? It’s not like I believe in stupid things like making a wish on your birthday and then blowing out the candles and then not telling anyone what you wished for or it won’t come true…Okay, I still do.

Day 14: Oh Poop! Halfway Through NaNoWriMo…

Thursday, Nov. 14

And then, all of a sudden, NaNoWriMo is halfway over! Oh @#$%!

I made better progress yesterday, upping my word count to 16,304 by adding 2,024 words in one day. Yes, one day. Now if only I can make that happen EVERY day, I will be set! Trophy in hand (metaphorically).

But instead of working on my novel, I’m blogging about working (or not working) on my novel. And while yes, I do LOVE blogging, I feel torn at times about what to focus on. But rather than decide, I just stretch myself like Stretch Armstrong (come on, you know who I’m talking about) and try to do it all. Is this a blessing or a curse? I sometimes think if I could just focus on ONE thing, I would totally rock at it, and be the best most amazing person at that ONE thing.

But who really does that? And by focusing on only ONE thing, what would I be losing? Well, besides custody of my children because well, kids need attention. Lots and lots. And then there’s me. I need to give myself attention too. And not the fun kind like that which writing provides, but the general maintenance kind. As in showering, eating, sleeping, pooping. Wait, no. I never poop. Seriously. I’m a girl. Girls don’t do that.

Okay, maybe I had my little brother fooled into believing that until age (way too old to still believe that). And yes, I probably shouldn’t mention it because now you all have a gross mental picture of me pooping. But, truth is, I’m a mom. And so much of my life does revolve around poop and therefore conversations about poop. Usually not my own, no I’m way too proper and mature for that (wink wink), but the baby’s!

And now, inadvertently, this blog post will be tagged with “poop”. What is wrong with me?

Oh yea, I’m a mom. And a writer. So I’m in double trouble in the weird zone (no offense to fellow moms and/or writers).

So what the Hell was I even writing about before I got side-tracked with poop? Oh yea, multi-tasking. And focusing. Ha ha. Yea, I guess maybe I should learn to focus more on individual tasks. And then I could check them off my to-do list (yes I have one of those, or actually many of those, buried under the mess on my desk somewhere).messy desk

Which brings me to another point: should I clean my desk? What? You agree that I don’t have time for that? Okay good. I’ll just keep writing then. And I know that since I muscled out 2,000+ words yesterday, I can totally do it today! I can do it. I can do it. Okay, pep talk over. Mirror put away.

And so, with NaNoWriMo nearly half-way over, I have definitely gotten loopier and more desperate for writing time and more delirious from the pressure to keep writing, and by that I mean forcing my characters to do stuff even when they just want to go to bed (and by “they” I mean “I”).

But never fear! I will win this thing! This @#$%^& novel will be completed by midnight of November 30. Oh you just wait and see. Because, really, that’s all you can do. I’m the one who has to keep doing the heavy lifting (and by that I mean obsessive compulsive typing).

Preparing for the No-Makeup Challenge

Sunday, Sept. 8Image

Okay, I’m gearing up for this challenge, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the guts to do it fully. Yes, I’ve gone a day here or a day there sans makeup (like when I was in the hospital having a baby, or when I’ve been struck down with the flu), but there really haven’t been all that many times when I’ve braved the great big world looking like…well, me!

I love makeup, I do! I love how it makes me look and feel. But sometimes I feel so trapped by this routine, and this way of thinking. That, without my makeup, I look horrible. That, without makeup, people won’t like me. Without makeup, I feel too self-conscious. But, with two daughters, I want to show them (and myself) that as much as I love my makeup, I don’t actually need it to feel beautiful.

This is not going to be easy. I may cry. I may not leave my house. Where I used to walk my kids to their classrooms and enjoy the chit chat of fellow moms, I may just drop them off at the curb and drive home in my large sunglasses and baseball cap and hide out with my 8 month old daughter inside all day. But, the fun part will be to see how I feel when faced with this challenge, and if anything changes over the course of the month.

Yes, I’m going to go a full month with no makeup! Well, that’s the plan, at least. I will try not to chicken out.

What else brought this on? Well, like many families, our income is a bit of a rollercoaster. Some months I’m out getting my hair done, and buying new clothes, buying new pots and pans, living carefree. Other months, I’m making my family hate pasta because that’s all I’ve cooked all week. Going to the store to just buy milk. Seriously. Just milk. Not milk plus a hundred other things we “need”. So, as my department store makeup supply is running low, and it’s too painful to go shell out the cash that it would take to re-up on everything I “need”, I’ve decided to take a little break from it.

What do I need? Well, there’s the face wash that removes the makeup ($19.50), the toner to remove anything the wash leaves behind ($22.50), the face lotion ($25), the face serum that is supposed to smooth out complexion ($76), eyeliner ($16), mascara ($16)…yea that’s about it for now. Wait, I’ve been out of eye cream ($50) for months too! And yes, not all of this is “makeup” persay, it’s “skincare”, but still, you get the drift. This doesn’t include the makeup I haven’t run out of: concealer/foundation ($33), powder ($23), face wash that you use after you use the face wash that takes off the makeup ($16.50), eyeshadow ($20), and blush ($21). And the brand I buy isn’t expensive by department store standards, but still, I’d be looking at roughly…$175 for the stuff I need now, and $338.50 (not including tax).

Um, that’s kind of a lot, isn’t it? So, today is the last day that I will look “decent”, according to my own standards, and those which I feel society has programmed me to believe in by watching shows like TLC’s What Not to Wear and the other make-over shows out there that convince us that our worth lies in how we look.

I am in no way saying I will never wear make-up ever again, or that every woman who chooses to wear makeup should feel ashamed of herself, or that women who choose not to wear makeup should be hiding out under big sunglasses and hats. But this is an experiment for myself that I wanted to share with whoever cares to read along. What do I hope to accomplish by doing this? Well, saving money for one, and more importantly, I would like to see if my perspective on beauty (first and foremost my own) changes as I get used to looking at myself without the layers of makeup (my security blanket) and even when this is over and I go back to my old self, wearing makeup daily whether or not I leave the house, I would like to be more accepting of myself sans makeup and not feel afraid to let myself be seen au natural, instead of letting that idea invoke a sense of fear and panic inside.